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Topic: A few questions for you business-y folks...  (Read 939 times)
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Matdredalia
« on: November 17, 2007 11:25:37 AM »

Hi all! I'll try to make this short and sweet, but I really could use some advice on a few things.

I decided to name my shop "Flaming Panda", but my brother said that's too aggressive and people will think that I'm into murdering endangered species (Quite the contrary, panda's are my favorite animal). I thought the name was something that would stick in people's minds. Any feedback on that?

And I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for getting promo materials printed up? I'm a bit lost in this department, honestly.

Oh, and one last thing: What's the best way to organize business figures? Would it be best to do it by hand via a ledger or on the PC?

I've got a million questions, but as I said, I'm trying to make this quick. Thanks in advance for any help, I really appreciate it!
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007 08:00:28 PM »

Hello there.

Well for promotions you can go the diy way or the easy way.

On etsy there are a ton of sellers that are willing to print pins, and flyers, and buisness cards, and 10% off cards, and thank you cards ect. all though they are pricy.

I know that if you go to office max or somewhere like that they have pre cut lables/buisness cards/ ect type stuff that are made by either avery or a knock off brand like office max's stuff. they have a number on them so that when you open your microsoft your able to select which form you bought and they will automatically generate a blank template in which you can design your items in. I was able to design my logo for my shop through photoimpression (i think now I can't remember) and i'm totally not computer literate. Lol
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007 09:23:42 AM »

I'm not a crafting pro, just a hobbyist, but have some suggestions that may help.

Quote
I decided to name my shop "Flaming Panda", but my brother said that's too aggressive and people will think that I'm into murdering endangered species (Quite the contrary, panda's are my favorite animal). I thought the name was something that would stick in people's minds. Any feedback on that?

What are you selling?  Is there a link to pandas?  Maybe a tag line will provide a more definite link.

Quote
And I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for getting promo materials printed up?

Try Vista Print.  Haven't bought anything there myself, although I've taken the site for a test spin and it seems very flexible.  Will frequently run special where you can get, say, 150 business cards for the cost of shipping only.

Quote
What's the best way to organize business figures? Would it be best to do it by hand via a ledger or on the PC?

How about QuickBooks?  Again, haven't used the application myself, but I hear about it a lot in the context of small businesses.

Good luck!

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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2007 04:01:26 AM »

"Flaming" anything would bring to many minds something's on fire, so you either have to deal with that or change your name. Maybe you can deal with it through a logo: the panda is holding a flame or a torch rather than being on fire himself.

I always try to make sense of business names; IMO they should have some kind of meaning as well as being catchy or not. If you were in a crowded room giving a speech and someone in the audience asked you why you picked Flaming Panda, what would you say? "I like pandas and I thought it was catchy"?

Promo: what kind of materials? Are you talking about magnets or postcards or what? Online printed biz cards, brochures, fliers and postcards are your cheapest option. Vistaprint does a fine job. Sometimes they make mistakes, so if you needed something yesterday forget it; but if they do make a mistake they'll have your corrections to you in 3 days.

For other things like magnets and pens and such, you have to buy a LOT in order to get the best price. If you need really small quantities etsy might just have some bargains (from people charging too little for their work - there IS a plus to this sometimes!).

For bookkeeping I keep a ledger for income, and a database for expenses. I know a lot of people who use Quickbooks and are pretty happy with it.
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2007 07:58:57 PM »

I don't know if it's just me but Flaming Panda makes me think of a gay panda bear. Which may not be a bad thing. It made me smile. LOL. But that may not be what you're going for. Having a good logo should clear that up though. If you're only trying to print up a few flyers and you're still in school find out if a computer lab has free printing. Make sure you know the rules of the computer lab though.
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007 09:06:44 PM »

Hi all! I'll try to make this short and sweet, but I really could use some advice on a few things.

Although you haven't come back to check this advice  Undecided I used Vista print for business cards and they shipped really quickly and look fantastic, apart from the typo that was my own fault  Embarrassed.  I also use flickr and got some moo cards which look nice, but the vista cards were a better value.  I have some Flickr stickers of my crafts too but they feel almost too precious to use.

By husband uses quickbooks for his small business and is very happy. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007 06:37:54 PM »

Pinklightning: I had the same thought!  In fact, I have a friend whose closest (imaginary) friend is a 6" tall gay panda!  (He's a plushie--and he goes everywhere she does...) Grin
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007 10:02:27 PM »

~Yellowplum

That's hilarious!
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008 09:04:01 AM »

I really like Quickbooks, just make sure you have an accountant to help set it up properly for your business, and to do your end of tax year stuff. Don't try to wade through that by yourself.

Oh yes, and I second CraftyChef on the name.
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